Write a short response that captures the central themes in Bolter and Grusin’s Remediation and then post a question that you’d like to discuss in class.
In Remediation, Bolter and Grusin seek to explain the effect that the emergence of new media has on already existing media. The authors suggest a theory of path dependency, a theory that claims new media technologies are refashioned forms of old media technologies. For example, the touch-screen keyboard of an IPhone has the same letter placement as a laptop—which has the same letter placement as a typewriter. Or, consider the authors’ example of The Wire from Strange Days—a device advertised as “not television,” but still uses some of the same concepts as television.
The authors also present an idea of remediation hypocrisy, or a double logic of remediation. The authors state, “Our culture wants both to multiple its media and erase all traces of mediation; ideally, it wants to erase its media in the very act of multiplying them.” From this trap of double logic arise the concepts of immediation and hypermediation. Immediation is the idea of the media transporting the viewer to the same space as the object or incident being viewed. Hypermediation, on the other hand, is media overtly serving as media. For instance, although CNN is a broadcasted newscast with anchors and a set, the television program is becoming increasingly similar to its website with its graphics, sound effects and video clips.
Question: The authors hint towards a system of path dependency, where society refashions media from old media. In such a system, society ultimately controls the technology. However, others believe a system of technological determinism, where a technology advances beyond the control of society and eventually alters society itself. Which system do you believe is a more valid argument, and why?
In Remediation, the authors correlate the evolution of media to how old technology is replaced by new technology. The also discuss the irony of how media is being “multiplied” and “increased”, yet older forms are simultaneously being phased out.
Also discussed are the material, economic and social dimensions of media development. As photography developed, for example, it became not just a way for photojournalists to document news events, but also a way for people to photograph their friends, their loved ones, etc., in a sense, creating their own kind of journalism. Even Daguerre himself speculated, as they note in the piece, that “everyone, with the aid of the daguerreotype, will make a view [photo] of his castle of country-house”.
Question: While it is easy to distinguish between a typewriter and an iPhone (the keyboard layout is borrowed from one “media” and put into the more complex design of another), what about new media that takes only part of previous media to make something new (for example: Twitter “taking” Facebook statuses for its existence)? Is that new media better or worse necessarily because it is simpler? Is it new media at all, by the definition given by Bolter and Grusin (a medium that is remediated)?
In Bolter and Grusin’s Remediation, they discuss the idea that technology and media are constantly being reformed and renovated. Each subsequent version of media claims to be a more “immediate or authentic” experience. In reality, new technologies are just a re-branding or “refashioning” old ones. Similarly, our society aims to erase old media while basing new media off of the old ones they are wishing to get rid of. It is this paradox that they call the double logic of remediation.
-There is a saying, “Sometimes less is more.” How would the authors respond to that in this context?
Bolter and Grusin argue that new media “oscillate between immediacy and hypermediacy”. They begin by first arguing that media technologies are comprised of networks. New media is a change in the network, and not necessary a brand new hardware or software. They use the internet as an example of how it can be utilized for various uses. Bolter and Grusin say that new media changes between immediacy and hypermediacy because immediacy leads to hypermediacy. The authors bring up the film “Strange Days” in which a device called the Wire which records one’s perceptions and plays it back. This device allows one to see through another person’s eyes, much like how one can see through the eyes of a pilot when in a flight stimulator. In these two examples, the wire and the flight stimulator both allow for different perceptions without the viewer having to notice the media that enables this immediacy. In other words, the “viewers feel as if they were ‘really’ there”. This connection between immediacy and hypermediacy is what the authors call the “double logic of remediation”.
-To what extent does social network sites support this argument of the “double logic of remediation”?
Bolter and Grusin attempt to deliver an argument the relationships between different media. They speak about how different media ultimately becomes a repackaged version of another version. The difference they allude to is that the new media always has the intention of depicting itself as better or more useful. I did enjoy how the gave multiple examples of this happening. This allowed the reader to think back for a moment and remember products or media that did follow this formula.
Another topic discussed in the text was that of immediacy and hypermediacy. Immediacy calls for a wiping of media upon using it in order to experience a true “authentic” event. Hypermediacy on the other hand calls for a recognition of media upon use rendering the event of using the media the actual “authentic” experience. I did enjoy this argument. I had never really thought of this topic all. After contemplation, I did see both sides as important and relevant.
Overall I enjoyed how this article employed a different way of thinking. I liked seeing this spiral of adding new media while simultaneously trying to fade out old media. The question I had was whether or not, immediacy or hypermediacy, could ever be considered more “authentic” than the other?
Bolter and Grusin explain in their essay the dimensions of new media. Every artistic and technological medium, whether it be photography, film, television, or the World Wide Web, have been established in one way or another in response to each other. They give the example that the first camera, made by Talbot, was responding to perspectival drawings. Film, wanted to combine the truth of photography and reality of moving pictures comes to full realization once sound is finally added to the silent motion pictures. Bolter and Grusin state that these ‘remediations’ have a social aspect to the viewers and creators of the new medium. As a culture, we have yearned to reach authenticity within art, or technology, however, reaching authenticity is culturally relative. We are given the example of the Western versus African reaction to a photograph on paper.
In Walter Benjamin’s, “Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”, he discusses that with the rise of technologies like film comes the fall of the ‘aura’ of an art piece, and creates a fascination with the filmic techniques. However, they argue that, in fact, the aura is not being erased, but remediated and transformed anew in another media form.
This struck me as an interesting part of their argument. In Benjamin’s essay, he also describes the filmmaker as having surgeon-like capabilities for he is an artist who dives into the medium like a doctor, cutting and scraping and digging deeper than a mere painter could on a flat canvas. This interesting analogy could represent other new media artists as well. It can be said, I think, that graphic artists too have greater capabilities than artists before them to create. Do you think that if Walter Benjamin were alive today to see these incredible advancements he would have been even more weary of the loss of ‘aura’ in art? It is clear that many changes have come about since the 1920′s and 30′s in film. Are these changes, or remediations as Bolter and Grusin would call them, killing art’s ‘aura’ even more?
Bolter and Gasin discuss the ways new media is formed by older media. Instead of a particular medium ignoring its competition, it embraces it in order to remodel itself. This act can be seen in several films that include television and computers. Another example would be digital book readers that display eBooks. New media isn’t necessarily new, but it redefines the old into something more appealing.
Does multimedia allow or prevent immediacy within a given medium?
In the beginning, Boltzer and Grusin talk about the emerging media as media that refashions the previous into one that is more fitting to that culture. Then, they bring up the film Strange Days. Through this example, the authors ultimately bring the point that our culture wants to make media so extensive that we don’t notice that it is media. This is done by putting an emphasis on immediacy, with such tactics like webcams, on site filming, and live televison shows. This should give us that sense of not noticing the media since it is like life because of the immediacy. There is also hypermedia which tries to make the media more noticeably known as media. Interactive websites and scrolling text on a news broadcast show that this not a real world experience, but a form of media that the viewer is watching. Western culture has had a history of media trying to be more immediate and hypermediate as well.
Question: Will we ever come to a point where immediacy is satisfied in the culture? Or will we keep striving to find the next form of media that pushes the boundary a little more?
In Remediation, Boltzer and Grusin believe that old media alters itself to become the new media by updating itself to become current with the time. They go on to explain how television shows and movies are designed to give the viewer the experience of those actually involved in a situation, such as the police officer example. Media is being altered over time to make the viewer unaware of the medium and to have this almost out of body experince. They also explain how TV shows are being changed to a format of their website such as the CNN example where while watching the show the viewer is flooded with audio, visuals, and text similar to their website.
Question: In the future, to what extent do you believe our media will be able to eliminate the consciousness of the media itself? In other words, how well do you believe they can mask themselves to hide the medium from the viewers awareness?
In Bolter and Grusin’s Remediation: Understanding New Media, the authors analyze the difference between different forms of media. However, they note that the relationship between these different kinds of media allow for one medium to be transformed into another form. After this process of remediation, the finished product (the new form of media) is portrayed as superior to its past counterpart. The new product keeps with the time as it better fits the current culture of the time. The authors discusses the film “Strange Days” as an example, in which something called “Wire” records and replays the visual perspective of the “male gaze,” causing it to be similar to television conceptually, but advertised as a new, innovative product. This leads to the concepts of immediacy (concerning the thought of the product’s authenticity and hypermediacy (the fact that knowledge of the world comes to us through media).
Question: At what point does creating new media off the ideas of previous media lead to copyright issues?
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>
Copyright © 2013 WAM 2011 | Powered by WordPress
| Theme zBench
| Valid XHTML and CSS 3